Shades of Truth


Reviewed by: ngai-mui

February 05, 2005

Rating: four

Main Cast:
Julian Cheung - Ha Chung Yum (Dung Chung Cho) / Mo Chung
Wong Hei - Lam Ji Chung / Lam Chung
Gigi Lai - Nicole (Man Fung Lin) / Poon Gum Lin
Tavia Yeung - Hong Ji Sin (Siu Sin)

Overview:
A romantic comedy about past lives, good cops, bad cops and triads. As its Chinese title implies, it's a mixture of an old Chinese tale, "Sui Wu Juen" and a new Chinese movie, "Mo Gan Doe (Infernal Affairs)".

Acting:
Julian Cheung (Cheung Chi-Lam) - Absolutely hilarious. I've always considered Julian a good actor, but I never realized just how good he was until this series. He did an incredible job as the reluctant but determined undercover cop sent to infiltrate one of Hong Kong's most powerful triads. He made me laugh, he made me sympathize with him, and most importantly, he made his character very likeable.

Wong Hei - I think he did a decent job as Lam Ji Chung, but when his character started remembering things about his past life as Lam Chung, something happened with the way he started reciting his lines. I'm sure it was done on purpose, to show the stark contrast between Lam Ji Chung and Lam Chung, but the robotic way he delivered his lines towards the end of the series was a little too much. It got very annoying.

Gigi Lai (Lai Chi) - Like Wong Hei, I think Gigi did a decent job. Nothing too impressive, but not quite as annoying as Wong Hei. I found that Gigi was at her best when Nicole was dealing with her mother. I really enjoyed those scenes between mother and daughter.

Tavia Yeung (Yeung Yi) - I've always liked Tavia's acting and her performance in this series only further cemented my belief in her skills. She did a very good job as the shy and gentle opposite of her friend, Nicole.

Writing:
When I first started watching this serial, I really wasn't expecting much from it, which is probably why I was pleasantly surprised. I found that the writing, though not consistently incredible, was still good enough to keep me entertained throughout the entire serial. This could've been a straight rip-off of Infernal Affairs but instead, there were funny moments and good twists thrown in to separate it from the movie.

Relationships:
Dung Chung Cho/Lam Ji Chung - I thought Julian and Wong Hei had good chemistry as long-lost brothers in justice. They had some very funny scenes, especially in the beginning when Dung Chung Cho was trying to convince his "Lam Dai Gor" that they were best friends in their past lives.

Nicole/Siu Sin - I also enjoyed watching the female friendship. The show spent much effort to differentiate Nicole and Siu Sin (ie. one was sexy, the other was more conservative). It also spent a lot of time ominously foreshadowing the girls' future love conflicts. I was relieved when they didn't pull this friendship apart because of the men. That would've been too predictable.

Dung Chung Cho/Nicole - Very good chemistry between Julian and Gigi. These two were great as enemies and even greater as lovers. A surprisingly entertaining couple.

Lam Ji Chung/Siu Sin - I didn't find very much chemistry between Wong Hei and Tavia. I thought they were sweet, but nothing as entertaining as Dung Chung Cho and Nicole.

Other Comments:
Besides the main cast being very good, the supporting cast was good as well. Nicole's parents were awesome, especially Bor Gor. He was very entertaining. His two right-hand men also did very good jobs.

The only complaint I have about this series, besides Wong Hei's odd line deliveries, is that the ending seemed a little rushed. Everything happened, was solved, and then was explained in the last episode. With that said, I liked the ending. I liked that it was a happy ending. With so many TVB serials ending badly these days, I was glad to see that both men ended up being good cops and everyone ended up with the ones they truly loved.

Overall:
All in all, an entertaining serial. If you're bored and looking for something to watch, I would recommend this series to you.


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